A Robinson R44 Raven II went down around 10 a.m. local time yesterday morning while on final approach into Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport, killing all four on board the ill-fated flight. Information from Dar indicates that the occupants were pilots of the police airwing while the pilot in command was attached to either the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism or to TANAPA’s airwing.
Registered as 5H-TWA was the helicopter a gift from Warren Buffet to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Buffet had donated the heli to fly patrols over the Selous Game Reserve as part of antipoaching efforts, providing additional aerial surveillance capabilities.
Reportedly on a test flight did the helicopter according to sources spoken to at JNIA come in following a larger jet aircraft, leading to instant speculation over the cause of the fatal accident, if perhaps the wake turbulence could have been a factor in the crash.
The Tanzanian authorities have already launched an air accident investigation and it is expected that preliminary findings will be available within weeks, though the final report may take longer to conclude.
The conservation fraternity, besides mourning those on board, have also expressed their shock that anti-poaching efforts have taken a serious hit as a result of the loss of this helicopter, eroding airborne surveillance abilities.
No official comment were available at the time of upload, not from the Tanzanian government nor from the office of Warren Buffet.
Condolences are expressed to the families and friends of those who perished in the crash.